By Petrus Kanisius, Environmental Education and Communications Officer
Each year on April 22nd, people from all around the world celebrate Earth Day. This year, on the 51stannual Earth Day, the theme was “Restore our Earth.” Earth Day was first started by an American politician and environmentalist named Gaylord Nelson. In 1969 Nelson saw the detrimental environmental damage caused by a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. In 1970 the first Earth Day raised awareness about the anti-pollution movement, and helped to spread information about environmental problems. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets for a massive coast-to-coast demonstration, fighting for a healthy and sustainable environment.
Now, in 2021, we continue to celebrate this important day because it serves as a reminder for us to take action to help the future of our earth. It is a time for us to take real action, even in simple ways, so that the earth will continue to be sustainable forever. A healthy earth gives breath and life to all.
As a conservation organization, GPOCP always celebrates Earth Day. This year, we held a variety of activities that took place throughout the week. At our Bentangor Environmental Education Center, in Pampang Harapan Village, Sukadana, there was an event to break the Ramadan fast together on April 27th. Members of the Bentangor Kids Club also stayed and watched environmental films together. REBONK volunteer youth group members also created a special video for Earth Day.
In Ketapang, RK-TAJAM youth group members also held an event to break the fast and held an interactive dialogue on the topic of “Becoming an Environmental Influencer”. This event was livestreamed on Instagram on April 24th, with informative guest speakers M. Mukhlis Saputra, Founder of Suara Konservasi Kalbar, and Candra Kurniawan, Founder of Impact Circles School.
Our Environmental Education team also hosted a webinar on climate change on April 26th. This Zoom event featured three special guests: Annisa Dian Ndari, from Greenpeace Indonesia; Maria Theresia, from World Wildlife Fund, West Kalimantan; and Yudo Sudarto, who serves on the Yayasan Palung Advisory Board.
And together, REBONK and the GPOCP Environmental Education team broadcast an interactive radio show on April 22nd, focusing on the theme “Green Ramadan.” The radio show was hosted by Mba Ifha from the Kayong Utara Radio, and two members of the REBONK youth group, Selvi and Siska.
Despite some last-minute changes to our plans due to new COVID-19 restrictions in the Ketapang Regency, we were able to safely hold many events throughout the week surrounding Earth Day. We engaged many members from throughout the community and had another successful Earth Day!